Thursday, September 09, 2010

Not quite the highway to hell


Take this exit
Highway 401 near Woodstock, Ontario, December 2009
[Click all photos to enlarge.]

Quick housekeeping: If you've found this site by way of Google's Blog of Note, welcome! Here at Written Inc., we do a weekly photo sharing activity called Thematic Photographic. The premise is simple. 1) I post a new theme. 2) Folks post their own photo on their blogs. 3) Participants come back here to post a link to their entry. By visiting other participants, so the theory goes, we expand our view of the world - and get to know some pretty neat people a little better.

Last week's theme was "transportation", and you can find it here. You are, of course, welcome to dive right in and have fun with it. That is, after all, why we do stuff like this here. I hope you enjoy the ride. I'll post a new theme tomorrow (Friday morning). [End housekeeping]


I don't often find myself sitting in the passenger seat. I've written previously about my near-pathological need to be at the wheel, so I'll spare you a repeat here. On the relatively few occasions when I'm riding shotgun - usually during a long drive back to visit the homeland-dwelling extended family - I try to divert my attention by playing with my camera. At least until the motion-induced nausea sets in.

So on this bright, sunny day, we found ourselves headed back to Montreal. The 401 is the busiest highway in North America, and it cuts through some of the loveliest country imaginable. Sadly, highways like this don't encourage sightseeing. As great as they are at turning time into distance, they just don't provide the same engaging driving experience you'd get on a smaller regional road. Worse, photography at 120 km/h (shhh, my wife speeds) is more miss than hit. If you end up with one or two decent captures from the entire shoot, consider it a good day.

I'm thinking today was a good day. I hope you enjoy the view.

Your turn: Tell us about a memorable road trip. What made it memorable in the first place?

22 comments:

Scarlet said...

I think about the drives up to our old holiday home when we were kids a lot.
We used to travel along the freeway which had been cut through huge sandstone hills. I always loved looking at the sandstone as the car flew past.
Have a great weekend!

Kay said...

a different view, for sure... just look at the orange and brown.. what happened to lushful green???

Carmi said...

Scarlet: Right back at ya, my friend. And shana tova, too! Only health for us all in 5771.

Kay: I took the picture last December. It wasn't quite winter yet, but the trees were already quite bare. I think that's the saddest visual time of year around these parts :)

Ginny said...

That first picture is really good to be taken from a moving car! I find I can snap out the windshield in front, but not from the side, because things speed by. Do you mind your wife's speeding? Do YOU speed? Big interstates are great if you're in a hurry, otherwise I like the less crowded, scenic route. Most memorable trip was going out of state to my great-grandfather's funeral with our baby boy. Car spun around in an ice storm, I screamed at the top of my lungs, scaring the baby, we stopped at a motel and went no further!

Mustang Sally said...

Michigan to California, late 70's. Alone. I took mostly state highways rather than interstates for the views. The Rockies were totally awesome.

awareness said...

Oh my goodness Carmi, my latest trip is memorable and ties in with yours. Unlike you, Montreal is a mesh of complicated off ramps and tunnels and bridges under construction!

Recently, I ventured "home" to Ontario. It was the first time that I was the one and only licensed driver and I felt nervous about the thought of driving the whole trek on my own. Given that it's been a spring/summer of firsts, I decided it was something I needed to tackle as well as succeed at.... Montreal almost did me in! Especially on the way back to New Brunswick. I took 5 wrong turns!!!!! I saw parts of the city I didn't expect too, some of them pretty darn grotty! Instead of the tunnel, I ended up on the Champlain Bridge, which was under construction just like the whole city and the signs were messed up. Thank God for a police officer parked on some street swarming in plazas who was using radar to catch speeders (btw, I speed like your wife. :) ) Between my broken french and his broken English, he managed to get me back on track.

It was a success a part from the detours.... I'm really proud of myself for making it to S. Ontario and back with good humour intact. :)

Karine said...

401 from Toronto to Montreal and vice-versa is a very long drive indeed...which is why I prefer to take the train! You don't get stuck in traffic, you can fall asleep whenever you want...and it's way easier to take pictures! I should know, I've been making the trek once about every six weeks to two months for almost two years now! lol

awareness said...

oh, and the most beautiful piece of highway is not the 401 ugh! It's the old trans canada that hugs the Saint John River in New Brunswick. time to bring the family EAST to see true beauty!!!!!

MorahMommy said...

Hey, this is the second time you have mentioned that I speed! I do believe we have gone in warp speed a few times when you were driving and I was snoozing! :D

I love our road trips. My favourite part is when the kids are sleeping and you and I have the time to chat about whatever!

xoxo

Cloudia said...

Noteworthy!


:)




Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Dr. Pankaj said...

Hey...
Just somehow went through this post of yours and Well i figured out the cost you spend on a dentist every year..
Well am a dentist practising in New Delhi and Would love to tell you that in that much of cost in india you can fly to and fro, roam about in india a little and also get your teeth fixed...
So think about it and do come to India as our guests and also refer your family and friends...

Dr. Pankaj Malhotra
www.dentalclinicnoida.in
www.dentalcareoline.blogspot.com

Civil Disobedian said...

Stumbled on here from the "Blog of Note" thing pretty cool.

About two weeks ago my brother and I set out from Connecticut our mission: to make it to Colorado in two days. Two 15 hour days later and virtually a whole continent gone we arrived at our destination, tired, sweaty, and maybe a little worse for wear. But it is not often you get to spend two uninterrupted days with your little bro, hanging out listening to NPR, talking philosophy and politics and making up ridiculous highway games to amuse yourself through the never ending Nebraska flats. It was quite simply two of the best days of my life. He just went back out to CT yesterday and I am all moved in to a new state, a recent college grad wondering what the hell I am going to do with my life. I guess take my lesson from the road, drive fast, deal with the traffic that you hit, and always make sure you have an awesome passenger to keep you from losing your mind in Nebraska.

Jen said...

Did you just get spammed by an Indian dentist?
That is too weird.

I love these shots, carmi. These colors take me back to my childhood.

And hey....stop whistleblowing on your wife!! ;-)

Vadim said...

http://blog4money-pro.blogspot.com/ - The best news blog

Kev D. said...

I was going to tell a detailed story about a Toronto-Montreal 401 drive (nearly passed out while driving, friend had to help me steer us onto the shoulder, 18 wheeler almost rammed into us), but I'm too busy referring my friends and family to this great Indian dentist that I just found out about.

becca said...

awesome picture.
http://becca-mycrazystuff.blogspot.com/

Kole83 said...

Carmi, I found you through the Blogs of Note. I enjoy reading your writings and seeing your photography.

My most memorable road trip so far was May 6th of this year. My fiancé and I were on our way back home from Ruidoso shortly after her proposed to me.

J.J. said...

Memorable road trips for me are from central southern England (right on the coast) to Scotland, or vice versa. An 8 hour trip is probably peanuts to those of you the other side of the Pond, but hey I live in a small country.

Anyway... they are always memorable because I am either driving to or from seeing my lovely husband, he works up there. And he is on the road back to me for the weekend right this minute :-)

Levonne said...

Happy travels! Come meet Bonnie and Butterfly when you have a minute. http://acamphosthousewifesmeanderings.blogspot.com/2010/09/meet-bonnie-and-butterfly.html

9/11 said...

just to say hi, happy sept!

Heather said...

Well, I have preferred the view as a passenger of a motorcycle....you get to see it all. The sky, the road, the twists and the flowers. I write about it in my blog
motorcychoadventures.blogspot.com

kcinnova said...

My favorite drives are on our local county roads. I recently videoed (or rather, had my son help me video, since I had both hands on the wheel!) and hope to share the view on my blog before too much longer.